Sunday, September 1, 2013

Have and Have Not By: Karen Pilarski

Stacks of self help books about writing and job searches placed on the desk next to notepads and highlighters. Hours spent on social media creating a 'presence.' Each week typing up an inspirational blog post to share. Sending out innovative resumes in the ongoing quest for a writing position. Aiming high as the sky by submitting things to The New Yorker or other publications. Understanding that I'm doing everything right and that one day it will all pay off.

I hear of friends and acquaintances buying homes and having babies. They post pictures of the new bundle of joy or standing in front of a new house on social media. The news is exciting but tends make the ones who don't have these things feel stagnant in their wants. The 'have nots' tend to bog down the determination. At times when hitting a brick wall, I am left feeling quite dejected.

No one can say I don't try my best. My mom and teachers always said "Karen tries hard or doesn't give up." School wasn't easy for me. Math was a skill I didn't have within me. Those word problems were tricky and confusing. Anything involving a train A and B or packs of chocolate chips sent me screaming for the hills. Add (ugh) algebra into it and my brain went into a tailspin. Throughout all the F's I was not defeated against the equations. The conclusion was passing with a 'D.' It was a hard earned D. I got through the difficulty and succeeded.

After high school I fell into the work trap. I worked at a department store and had a regular paycheck. The continuous flow of money felt wonderful. However, as a few years past I noticed how many of my high school classmates were finishing up college. I felt jealous I wasn't doing the college thing. Anytime I heard a friend say they were tired from studying or partying I pitied myself.

The final straw was when my colleague Amanda took me to see her dorm room at a local university. It looked like a mini apartment. I lived near a private college and due to it being close to my house I applied. I even took a tour of it and even stayed overnight. I was hooked. Now I have a Bachelors Degree and a Masters Degree.

Hard work doesn't scare me. Failure does. It is as dangerous as smoke is to lungs. The blackened caked on soot of rejection makes it hard to come up for air. I am not one to let a dream die under such depressing circumstances. I'd rather try every path possible to find the location in life that I seek. The journey is daunting and discouraging when others soar right to the top. It seems they don't even have to try. There is a sense of unfairness in the whole process. For once I would like get what I want quickly. Sure, it is said when things come too easy it is not as greatly appreciated. When the sticky residue of losing lingers I feel less compelled to even make another attempt.

I truly believe the motto that anything worthwhile is difficult. One day the stars will align.. In the meantime, I have support of family and friends who care about me. I have lovely people who read my writing and pass it along. I have a belief in myself that diminishes the ugly 'have not' emotions that darkens the heart. A belief that the struggles, frustrations and failures I'm enduring will not define my spirit. It will not define the successes I will find.